Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.77                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       SEPTEMBER 1967.

Minister: Revd. Tom Calvert, The Old Manse, Langholm. Tel. 256.

Session Clerk: Alexander Hutton, Savings Bank, Market Place, Langholm

Clerk to Board: Mr. E. C. Armstrong, Town Hall, Langholm , Tel. 255

Treasurer: Mr. Robert Black, 35 Eskdaill Street.

Organist: Mr. A. C. Mallinson, A.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., 72 Henry Street.

Church Officer: Mr. W Elliot, 3 Buccleuch Terrace.

Hall Caretaker: Mr Donaldson, 7 West Street.

Text for September—“Adam . . . . where art thou?” Genesis 3. 9.

We hear a lot these days about experiments in trying to make Sunday Evening Services more attractive by replacing the sermon with question periods. The congregation is invited to ask any question that concerns matters of belief or problems of living, and the minister seeks to give an answer according to the teaching of the Bible. This was done in the City Temple, London, during the ministry of Rev. Dr. Leslie Weatherhead, and later he published a very valuable book “When The Lamp Flickers” which gives some of the questions asked and the answers given. Among the questions asked and answered you find “Will Christ visibly return to earth?” “Is any sin unpardonables?”, “Did Jesus believe in an endless hell?”, and so on.

I am not proposing commencing question sessions the Evening Services in the Old Parish, but in my message for September I would like to give you three questions which God asks.

First in Genesis 3. 9. God asks “Adam . . . . Where art thou?”

This is not to be taken as a question to an individual, for the word Adam in the Hebrew means “man”; “Man, where art thou?” or “Woman, where art thou?” And this is not a question asking where are you sitting or working, or living, or on holiday, but where are you in your relation to God, in your religious life?

Actually Adam was hiding behind a bush in the Garden of Eden at the time God asked this question, and he discovered that you cannot hide from God, “that the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good", and Adam had to come forth and stand out in the open before God. Adam was trying to hide from God, and this is what millions of people in our land are trying to do today, to hide from God behind all kinds of excuses. Ask the masses of the people of Scotland this question today,“man, where art thou? or woman, where art thou?” in relation to one day in seven set aside for God’s worship, a day which our fathers reverenced and which according to Robert Burns in his Cotters Saturday Night, played such a formative part in the character of our people, caused our people to be “loved at home, revered abroad”. It is a fact that many of us could not maintaing a vital personal faith without the help of regular worship, however dreary and dull our Church Services may sometimes seem to be.‘ An American minister tells in a published newspaper article of a man who had left off Sunday worship. He called at his home one cold winter evening, and they sat together talking in front of a blazing coal fire. Then the minister said, “I am missing you at Church these days”. The man replied that he found he could be just as good a Christian outside the Church and Sunday worship. The minister didn’t say anything but taking the tongs he picked out a glowing piece of coal from the fire and placed it upon the hearth. It glowed for a few moments and then blackened and became cold. The man turned to the minister and remarked, don’t say anything more, I get the point, I will be back again in my pew next Sunday. This is what happens when people neglect worship and daily habits of prayer, their faith in God sufifers in consequence and becomes cold and meaningless

The second question God asks comes in Genesis 4. 9. where God asks Cain, “Where is thy brother?”

Cain had a guilty conscience because he had slain his brother, and replies “Am I my brother’s keeper?" This is a question that came home to William Wilberforce just about 190 years ago. As an undergraduate in Cambridge with a huge fortune behind him, like most undergraduates of that day was living a dissolute life drinking and gambling in the Night Clubs of London. At the age of 25 he became a Christian and then asked himself “am I my brother's keeper?” He realised that by his way of life he was leading many to a life of degradation. Now that he looked upon all men as his brothers he formed a Society for the Suppression of vice. The rest of his life was spent in a grim battle for the emancipation of slaves within the British Empire.

However much we may criticise the people of our land today for indifference to Church attendance we 1 must give them credit for Christian conscience on the question “where is thy brother?" Society today is highly sensitive about its responsibility to a ‘needy brother or sister. When disaster comes anywhere in the world, like the Aberfan Tip Disaster Or an earthquake in Turkey or elsewhere, through organisations like United Nations Relief, Oxfam, or Christian Aid, funds flow freely and contributions are generous. And this the kind of religion Jesus placed before creeds or long prayers. Read the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke l0. 25. where you find Iesus condemning two religious men, a priest and a Levite to an immortality of shame because they passed by a needy brother, while He commends a Samaritan, a man whom the Jews regarded as having no religion, for his care of one who needed help.

The third question God asks comes in Exodus 4. 2. when God asks Moses, “What is that in thine hand?”

Moses was one of the great giants of history, a gr-eat leader and law giver and mighty spokesman for God. But to begin with his life was one continual story of disappointment and failure. He didn’t enjoy knowing his parents as parents. After getting into trouble he ran away and married a nagging wife and spent most of his time out on the hills of Midian keeping his father in law’s flocks of sheep. And then God appeared unto him at the burning bush and told him he was the chosen leader to bring his race out of slavery into a new land of freedom. Moses began to think of excuses just as we do when we feel the call to do something worthwhile with our lives. He replied to God that he didn’t have this or that quality, and God asked him “What is that in thine hand?” It was a shepherd’s crook, the emblem of his profession. It was another way of being told that the very qualities needed for leading the Children of Israel were the very qualities he possessed, courage which every shepherd possesses, and an understanding and caring heart.

What is that in thine hand? Some of us may thinkas Moses thought that we have little to offer God. But the people whom God uses to best account aresnot always people who are talented but people who seem to have nothing at all to offer. Ienny Lin-d was talented with a lovely singing voice and she used it to bring joy to people all over the world. She said in later life “I sing only for God”. And the same was true of Kathleen Perrier. But there have been others who have done great things for God who to begin with were like Moses, had only disappointment and sorrow around them. Take the case of Thomas Barnardo who began his great Work for God with an aching sorrowing heart. His son died at the age of 9 of diptheria. The loss hurt but it turned his eyes outward from himself in desire to be a father to many thousands of homeless forsaken children. And so began his work in founding the well-known homes for orphan, waifs, and devoted the rest of his life to the protection, education and advancement of destitute children. Moses, the greatest leader of all history, didn’t have very much in his hand when God called him to a life of great adventure, only disappointment and frustration. Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick tells in his autobiography of how as a young man he had a critical nervous breakdown. He says it was the most terrifying. wilderness I ever travelled through. “Yet in it,” he says,“I made some of the most vital discoveries; of my life. My little book, published in 1914 and still being reprinted and sold, ‘The meaning of Prayer‘, would never have been written without that breakdown. Like Moses I found God in a desert” It was as the result of a nervous breakdown that Harry Ernerson Fosdick found a great victorious" faith which led him into the Christian ministry. He became minister of Riverside Church, New York, where he fulfilled a long ministry to a congregation of people of different sects of religion. He has written and published well over twenty books which have helped many people to face up to life in days; of depression, books with titles like “The Secret of Victorious Living”, “A great time to be alive"' and “A Faith for Tough Times”.

Just over a year ago Dorothy Wilson published her book, “Ten Fingers for God’,’, the story of Paul‘: Brand and his great New Life Centre in Vellore, India. Paul Brand was the son of a Baptist missionary in India. As a boy he was sent home to London where he received a good religious training and later a medical training and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He was on the staff of the Missionary Hospital in Vellore when he became interested in the claw like deformity of lepers; hands. He is today the most famous surgeon in the world on hands, and has given new hands and new" life to many thousands of India’s lepers. In that great story of Dr. Paul Brand we are told of two cases of a man and a woman who had little to give to God but gave what they had to tremendous achievement. First was a Scotsman called John Girling. After his education in Scotland he felt he wanted to do more wiih his life than earn a living So he packed up his belongings and started a trip round the world. He worked his way across Europe, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. Then, in India, after" seeing the ravages of leprosy, he offered his services to a leper hospital, performing menial tasks such as sweeping floors and cleaning latrines. Then he heard‘ about Dr. Paul Brand and the New Life Centre at Vellore. He turned up there one day and asked to be allowed to help. “What training have you had?” Paul Brand asked. “None”, replied Girling, “But I have a good pair of hands”. Brand told him that as a manual labourer he could only be paid coolie wages, about £7 a week, and Girling accepted. He was set to work in a shoe shop where they were experimenting in making shoes for lepers with foot ulcers. They were called “rocker” shoes with rub» ber soles. Within a very short time John Girling was in charge of the shoe shop and working with" Paul Brand in research on the pressures of the foot. He is now doing "a job that is helping lepers" all over the world. The other case‘ is that of a woman, Dr. Mary Verghese, at beautiful young woman of the Syrian Christian community who had qualified at Vellore as a doctor and was a resident in the college’s gynaecology department. In January 1954 she was involved in a bad motor accident and was terribly hurt. Her face was torn and her spine broken, and left paralysed from the waist downwards. All that was left was her head and two arms and hands, and of course a brave heart. After several operations she was able to sit in a wheelchair, and one day Paul Brand said to her, “You should begin now to plan your professional career”. At first she looked startled, and then new hope came into her eyes. “I suppose I could do clinical work” she replied. They discussed the matter and soon Mary was in charge of the leprosy clinic. Seated in a wheelchair, she examined patients, wrote prescriptions and gave directions to nurses. After a month at this work she was working in the department of surgery, assisting with tendon transplants and performing operations, all from a wheelchair. In time she felt she wanted to do more for India's disabled people, not just leprosy patients, but victims of polio. She heard of Dr. Howard Rusk and his Institute of Physical Medicine in New York, where students from all over the world went for training in rehabilitation, and asked Paul Brand if there was any chance she might go there for training. His reply is worth remembering, “Mary, if you believe there is something God wants you to do, nothing on earth is going to stop you”. Today Mary Verghese is director of a great rehabilitation building sponsored by the Indian government, and though confined to a wheelchair is living a happy active life. She still has the scar right across her face from the accident, but as she goes round the patients in her wheelchair without assistance from anybody, the patients find themselves taking new courage and a new light comes into their faces.

What is that in thy hand? Life, health, influence over others, gift of friendship, a lovely voice, or perhaps like Thomas Barnardo or Mary Verghese sorrow or handicap. And whatever it is it can be used as the rod of Moses was used to help to set God’s children free and lead them to a new and better life. Not one of us can be excused and not one of us has come into this world without some purpose to fulfil. As Plato used to say, “Remember you didn’t come into this world by accident, and at this very moment God has need of you”.


Dear Fellow Member,

During July and August we have maintained Morning and Evening Services and I am certain it is important even in the holiday weeks to continue the Evening Service. Visitors to the town should always find the church open and a Service at stated times, and we have had a large number this summer.

Summer Camps

The Boys’ Brigade Camp in early July to Borgue was a very happy one. Mr. James Kyle, the B.B. captain and his officers are to be congratulated upon the choice of site and conduct of the camp. Mr. Sandy Sproat, the farmer owning the camp site did evrything in his power to help, and on occasions allowed officers to use his Land Rover to go into Kirkcudbright for provisions. On the Sunday the Company paraded to Borgue Parish Church for the Morning Service. Wednesday was visitors day, when about 40 parents and friends visited the camp and shared with the boys in a lovely day and beautiful surroundings. Mr. Nelson Miller was in charge of cooking and all the time concerned with the welfare of the boys. He generously presented pocket knives to the tidiest tent for the week. This was tent No. 2 Graham Robertson, Stanley Wilson, David Erskine and Neil Weatherstone.

Air Training Corps Camp at Halton

On the week commencing Friday, 14th July, I attended the A.T.C. Camp at the Halton R.A.F. Station, Buckinghamshire. The lads attending were from Annan, Gretna, Dumfries, Stranraer, Girvan and Ardrossan. It was a week of perfect summer weather and every day there were opportunities for flying and gliding. On the Sunday morning I gave the address at the parade Service in Trinity Garrison Church. My wife and family stayed for the week in a hotel in Wendover, just outside the camp. and greatly enjoyed a most exciting week. I had a memorable flight in a Chipmunk over Chequers, the country residence of the Prime Minister, and back over Whipsnade Zoo. The Cadets had one day at the London Airport, taken by R.A.F. transport.

Young Wives Fellowship

On Sunday, 13th August, the Young Wives Fellowship attended and led the Evening Service. They brought extra flowers and decorated the church in a most attractive way. Lessons were read by Mrs. Nancy Stobie, Mrs. Sheila Jeffrey and Mrs. Sheila. Calvert and were especially well read. The Young Wives sang the hymn, “The King of Love”, as a choir.

Presentation of Long Service Certificate

The Kirk Session met after the Morning Service on Sunday, 30th July, when I informed the Elders that the Church of Scotland had forwarded a Certificate of Long Service for presentation to Mr. William Stuart. It was decided that on a night to be arranged the Minister, Mr. A. M. Hutton, Session Clerk, Mr. James Maxwell and Mr. William Hosie would visit Benray Eventide Home, Lockerbie, and hand over the Certificate to Mr. Stuart. The presentation was made on Wednesday, 9th August, when the Matron of Benray kindly placed a room at our disposal. The Certificate bearing the crest of the Church of Scotland, and signed by W. Roy Sanderson, Moderator of the General Assembly, read “This Certificate of Long Service is presented by the Church of Scotland to William Stuart, in grateful appreciation of his life and work, as Ruling Elder for fifty years, as Sunday School Teacher for fifty-nine years and as Sunday School Superintendent for twenty four years, and Member of the Choir for over sixty years, in Langholm Old Parish Church.” I am glad to say that Mr. Stuart has recovered in health considerably and is happily situated in Benray Home, with Mrs. Stuart in Ravenshill Eventide Home, next door, and is able to visit her daily. It is evident that his splendid character and gracious disposition has won the respect and love of inmates and staff of Benray Home.

Sunday School New Session

The Sunday School is due to commence the new session on Sunday, 3rd September, meeting with the Morning Service, and children leaving for classes after the childen’s hymn.

Special Services in September

On Sunday, 17th September, the Morning Service will be appropriate to thanksgiving for the victory of the Battle of Britain. The Kirk Session has decided to cancel the Evening Service that day in order to give our members opportunity to share with the Erskine Church in centenary celebrations on the erection of the present Erskine church in 1867 at the cost of £1,670. The Rev. Professor David Cairns of Aberdeen will be the preacher on this occasion.

Sympathy With the Bereaved

Mrs. Minnie Lauder Mc\/ittie, 50 Caroline Street, passed away on 2nd July at the age of 84, after 47 years happy married life. Our sympathy with her bereaved husband, Robert R. McVittie, formerly of Douglincleuch, Westerkirk.

Mrs. Margaret Jane Carmichael Johnstone, 10 Caroline Street, passed away on 13th July at the age of 85. I was sorry to be away at the A.T.C. camp at the time of her funeral. She was a devoted and faithful member of the Old Parish, and I have many happy memories of visiting her in her home. She was fortunate in having her daughter, Mrs. Angus, with her in her last hours, and the devoted family around her. Our deepest sympathy in their bereavement.

John Jardine, 2a Henry Street, passed away on 24th July at the age of 76. Since coming to Langholm Mr. Jardine has not enjoyed good health. Our deepest sympathy with his widow and relatives. Mrs. Janet Irving Graham, 17 Charles Street (Old), passed away in the Cumberland Infirmary on 8th August in her 88th year. Our sincere sympathy With her devoted family.

With warm greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.


Collections for July and August, 1967

F. W. O.

July £77 17 6

August £ 58 9 9


July £28 17 10

August 17 5 2

By Deed of Covenant £20 0 0

Boxes £3 14 7

Annual Envelopes £2 0 0


£ 9 0 0


The Youth Club has arrangements for holding a Mini Fete at the Buccleuch Hall on Saturday, 16th September. The Fete will be opened by David M. S. Steele, M.A., LL.B., Member of Parliament for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles, at 2.30 p.m. There will be a youth fancy dress parade through Langholm, led by the Langholm Pipe Band. The Fete will consist of various stalls and attractions. The object is funds for re-equipment and decoration of the Youth Centre, including a 16 m.m. Talkie projector equipment. Also to give a generous donation to the funds of the Greenbank Eventide Home.


September 3, - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Douglas Anderson, Mary Street. The Sunday School will commence new session meeting with the Morning Service.

September 1O, - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Dalziel, 16 Braehead, Holmwood.

September 17, - 11 a.m. Remembrance of Battle of Britain. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss Jean Ferguson, Neidpath, in memorial of her father. 6 p.m. United Service with Erskine in Erskine Church.

September 24, - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. D. Milligan, 5 Buccleuch Square.

October 1, - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. A. Erskine, 35 Eskdaill Street.


July 23, - Alison, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stewart, 26 Maxwell Place.

August 13, - Caroline Isobel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. Murray, Charles Street (New).


July 4, - Keith James Moseley, 17 Charlotte Street, to Bernice Sheldon.


July 2, - Mrs. Minnie Lauder McVittie, 50 Caroline Street. Age 84.

July 13, - Mrs. Margaret Jane Carmichael Johnstone, 10 Caroline Street. Age 85.

July 24, - John Jardine, 2a Henry Street. Age 76.

August 8, - Mrs. Janet Irving Graham, 17 Charles Street Old. Age 87.

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, which givest us the victory through our Lord Iesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15. 55 and 57.


By Mrs. Daws.

“It costs nothing, but creates much; It enriches those who receive without irnpoverishing those who give; It happens in a flash and the memory of it lasts for ever; None are so rich that they cannot get along without it; None are so poor, but are richer for its benefit. It is rest to the weary, sunshine to the sad, and nature’s best antidote for trouble. It cannot be bought, borrowed or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good until it is given away, and yet when it is given away, it always comes back; and nobody needs a smile so much, as those who have none to give.”

Acknowledgement, from Multiple Sclerosis News Summer 1967, pp. 12.